The gender employment gap in the EU has narrowed by 2 percentage points since the global economic crisis erupted in 2008; by mid-2015 women formed 46% of the workforce. The decrease is mostly a result of the disproportionate impact of the recession on employment in sectors that employ men predominantly, particularly manufacturing and construction.
Employment has grown in predominantly female-employing service sectors, especially health and education. With the economic recovery, however, the pattern has changed, and recent employment gains have been more evenly shared between men and women.
An analysis of recent developments in employment in the EU has been published in the annual report of Eurofound’s European Jobs Monitor (EJM), which monitors shifts in employment and the nature of those shifts. Part of this analysis is an examination of employment change according to how job gains or losses are distributed across the pay spectrum.
In the upturn, male employment gains have been stronger than female employment gains in the bottom two quintiles, while female gains have been comparatively stronger in the top two quintiles. Lower-paid service jobs, where women have tended to predominate, have contributed considerably to recent employment growth for men.
The EJM analysis also looks at employment status and shows that part-time employment in the EU increased rapidly in 2011–2015, while levels of full-time, permanent employment declined.
The employment status of workers varies widely across the Member States. In 2015, only one in three workers in the Netherlands had a full-time, permanent job – over half of the Dutch workforce works part time. Part-time grew especially strongly in Germany over 2011–2015, where some 28% of workers now work part time. But it has also grown in Greece and Spain despite large overall declines in the workforces of both these countries. These declines mainly affected full-time, permanent employment, with secondary impacts on the large shares of temporary workers in Spain and of self-employed workers in Greece.
More information: http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/news/spotlight-on/employment/male-employment-rebounds-and-part-time-work-surges